Mass Literacy partners with Readoicty to launch Summer Smart Reading Challenge

Summer Smart Reading Challenge

Are you looking for a new way to build excitement about summer reading? Then join the free Summer Smart Reading Challenge open to all students entering grades K-12. Designed in partnership between Mass Literacy and the technology startup Readocity, the program helps children become lifelong lovers of reading. The challenge runs from June 5 to August 31. Parents and educators can sign up now.

Using the Readocity app, students can set reading goals, track their progress, and discover award-winning book recommendations. Educators can upload their own summer reading lists and access their classroom’s reading data to help plan for the next school year.

We are thrilled to partner with Readocity to get children and teens reading this summer. Our shared goal is to inspire students to read well beyond the summer months and into the rest of their lives.

Be named the official Summer Smart Reading Champion in the Boston Herald!
Both the school and the individual student that logs the most reading hours will be named Summer Smart Reading Champions and be featured in the Boston Herald. All students who meet their goals will be listed in the Boston Herald as Summer Reading Stars. Read More »


Children to receive bookcases loaded with books to bridge reading gap

Here’s what we know: Even as early as grade school, the reading gap for low-income students is already present. More than a third of children entering kindergarten lack the basic language skills needed to learn how to read, and studies show there are significant gaps in reading achievement by race and income. Nearly half of fourth graders from low-income families read below the basic level.

Here’s what else we know: Whether families are rich or poor, books in the home are closely associated with an increase the level of education the children in that home will attain. One study found that having as few as 20 books in the home still has a significant impact on propelling a child to a higher level of education.

Based on that, wouldn’t it seem like a good first step to put a bookcase with at least 20 books in each low-income home? Read More »


Poetry Extravaganza builds student excitement about poems


Poetry is everywhere this month at the Holten Richmond Middle School in Danvers, MA – with everyone from students to teachers getting in on the poetic action. Their Poetry Month celebration kicked off with a Poetry Extravaganza event in collaboration with Sarah Woo, the school librarian, and English Language Arts teachers Amy Roy and Megan White.

“Virtually all students embraced the Poetry Extravaganza” said Woo. We didn’t hear anyone say, “I don’t like poetry,” or “I can’t write a poem.”

During the event, students met in the library and had fun as they visited stations to create different types of poems. One form that was popular with students is Paint Chip Poetry. Not only is it a great way to recycle paint chips from the hardware store, but it also serves as a source of inspiration for students. Read More »


English Conversation Circles help immigrants build language skills and confidence

English Conversation Circles

Fifteen years ago visitors to the Peabody Institute Library looking for help with their English language skills were directed to a small bookshelf packed with books and some audio tapes. Library staff regularly referred people to the local organizations that offered ESOL classes, but warned that there were long waiting lists.

During this same time period, school and census data indicated that demographic growth in Peabody was a result of new, undeserved immigrant populations settling in the area. This trend was confirmed in 2013 when the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development designated Peabody as a Gateway City, indicating the city’s need for economic development, and educational and employment opportunities. One of the ways that the Peabody Library responded to this need was to commit to a program of English Conversation Circles to support local ESOL classes with the goal of eliminating the language barriers that are a key ingredient to educational opportunity and economic success of Peabody’s growing immigrant population.

Today, the Peabody Library offers English language learners a great deal more. Read More »


College student to build library at correctional center to help incarcerated moms read with their children

Mt. Holyoke College senior Maria Patterson is working with Reader to Reader in Amherst, Mass. to build a library at a local correctional center

Mt. Holyoke College senior Maria Patterson is working with Reader to Reader in Amherst, Mass. to build a library at a local correctional center to help mothers read to their children.

As the evidence continues to build showing how essential parent-child reading can be in the preschool years, it’s worth asking: What happens to a child whose main caregiver is incarcerated? Is there a way to continue to foster that reading relationship? And what can the criminal justice system do to help? Read More »